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01:22 - Source: CNN

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Trump did not take questions from reporters during his China visit

Past presidents have used their visits to press authoritarian leaders to face the media

Washington CNN  — 

US President Donald Trump did not take questions from reporters in China, forfeiting a potential opportunity to push Chinese leader Xi Jinping to face the press.

Trump and Xi both appeared before reporters in Beijing during the US President’s visit, but did not answer questions from media.

US presidents in the past have been able to use their foreign visits to create a rare moment for press-averse authoritarian leaders to face questions from reporters: Then-Presidents Bill Clinton in 1998 and George W. Bush in 2002 each convinced their Chinese counterparts to take questions from reporters during their first state visits to China.

The choice for Trump and Xi not to take questions from reporters in China came by a request from that government, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

“It was at the Chinese insistence there were no questions today,” she said.